Friday, April 5, 2013

Triple R: Limping Patient Kung Fu Glare

I think I fell off the bull at the Referral Records Rodeo.

The call from the records office at Gigantic Roman Catholic Health System (GRCHS) came. The records were packaged up and all I would need to do is tell the check-in desk at GRCHS hospital that I was picking up the already packaged up records.

I drove to GRCHS hospital and told the check-in desk that I was picking up the already packaged up records and the records department said to come to the check-in desk. The receptionist called the records people, who said to go to outside the booth and wait.

There was an employee in the booth with a customer, and they were there for awhile. The customer left and the employee was in the booth by herself. She left the room to get stuff off of a printer a few times, so I assumed my records weren't actually printed off given my luck. After twenty minutes, I poked my head in and said I needed to go soon.

She looked surprised and apologetic. There was a breakdown in communication somewhere, and she did not know I was there to pick up records. She actually looked pretty surprised, so either she's a good actress or she truly had no idea I was supposed to be there. She found the half-inch thick pile of records and had me sign something that said they would be sending me a bill. I mentioned why I was requesting everything from the last 18 months and my frustration and blah blah. I made it a point to sound conversational - it's not her fault GRCHS decided to charge patients for requesting records, you know? I thought it was worth saying something, at least, because if enough people complain and all that.

GRCHS hospital is twenty minutes away from new rheumatology place. New rheumatology place is a large and fancy building. The inside is also large and fancy. I gave the records to the receptionist and explained I was referred but my doctor's office did not send the records even though blah blah. She found the referral form, took the records, and said they're reviewed daily and I should get a decision within two days.

I said thanks and went back to my car.



What is there to decide?

If I'm sick/interesting/young/old/can pay enough?


I didn't sleep well that night. I don't want to go back to rheumatology nurse. There are three rheumatology offices in this county. I didn't want to have to drive an hour or more if I could help it.

And then my head spun a little further - is this pain fabricated? My psychiatrist said it wasn't. Joint pain in specific joints with a sudden onset isn't in the Somatoform Disorders section of the DSM-IV-TR. Especially since I didn't know what rheumatoid arthritis was prior to all of this.

No answer the next day. Further spinning.

This afternoon I was in and out of sleep from Thorazine. I threw up seven or eight times in a three hour period. I called the husband home. I take lithium, so getting dehydrated is bad news. Primary care doc told me to take the Thorazine (prescribed by psychiatrist for sleep and nausea from lithium + pain) I had and call if I couldn't keep it down.

Yay, my shitty issues affecting my family.

In a sleepy period, the new rheumatology office called to set an appointment. One to two hours this upcoming Wednesday.

Uh, they got me in in less than a week? I waited two months to get a doctor to listen to me enough to give me a referral to a place with a four month waiting list.

Less than a week?

Less than a week!

My husband said not to over-think it, and be happy I won't have to see weird nurse again.


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